David and Corey Menkes
David and Corey met in high school in Southern California. No, they didn't date, but were really close friends for years. Corey always had a passion for the environment while David has been obsessed with graphic design and traveling. They did finally start dating in 2006 and married in 2010, moving back to Los Angeles from Northern California. In 2011, they traveled to St. Lucia on vacation and happened to stop at a cocoa plantation where they got to taste the pulp from cacao pods and saw cacao fermenting for the first time. By 2013, the couple was running a bean to bar chocolate blog called Little Brown Squares which exclusively featured reviews of bean to bar chocolate bars.
By early 2014, David was thinking of getting into the agroforestry business and took a cacao bootcamp class hosted by Madre Chocolate in Oahu, Hawaii. There, David learned not only how to grow and cultivate cacao trees, but ferment cacao and run a batch of chocolate through to completion from bean to bar. Returning afterward to LA, David began purchasing small quantities of cacao beans from chocolate makers and brokers and started making his own batches soon after. During this time, David was working as an artist at DreamWorks Animation where he had founded the DreamWorks Chocolate Society. Eventually making chocolate that the Society loved, he started selling his bars to his fellow employees.
By 2016, their little apartment had become overwhelmed with equipment and the couple needed to move everything out. They found a solution in a shared kitchen just down the street, and moved their operation there. By 2017, they were able to purchase the kitchen as they continued to grow their operation. By 2018, they took over the entire space and renovated the retail area, having their grand opening in September 2018. In 2019, they began offering tours of the factory to an overwhelming response.